Central Crossing, Rochester Gateway Development

Type: Adaptive Reuse, Urban Design (RIT Design Project)
Location: Rochester (Central Avenue), New York
The block of Central Avenue between Clinton Avenue and St. Paul Street has the potential to be a new gateway into Rochester for those arriving by train.  Working in groups, students had to propose a mixed-use development and adapt the existing historical building fabric in order to create a gateway experience that enhances the neighborhood.

Visitors arriving by train don’t get the experience that they once did.  For many years the station in Rochester was a showpiece of architecture.  It was demolished in the 1960s and replaced with a metal box that was intended to be temporary.  When this was finally removed and a proper station was built, the design was reminiscent of the earlier versions.  This was just one part of the puzzle, the surrounding neighborhood has been underutilized and no longer welcomes guests to Rochester.  This project aimed to change this by to comprehensively adapting the block.

The final design examined what this section of Rochester would look like should the sunken Inner Loop Expressway, located directly to the south of the site, be filled in.  After an initial sketch, the project moved forward as though this was Phase I of that plan, and includes several components of new construction (represented by the tan in the site plan) and several adapted and renovated uses (grey color).  A new pedestrian bridge and walkway extends along the northern side of the project area, following the same elevation as the elevated rail itself.  This allows for flexibility on the part of the train station user.  They no longer are forced to leave by automobile, and can easily cross Clinton and St. Paul Street without being at street level.  High Falls, the area of Rochester most likely suited to tourism, is now reachable to visitors without much effort.  The neighborhood to the north is isolated from downtown and could benefit from the added commercial and grocery space added as a part of this project.  A pedestrian bridge now connects a dead end street on the opposite side of the tracks with Central Avenue, allowing another important and functional design piece to the project.

As a project in collaboration with classmates Yao Yao and Xingyan Wang, Doug’s role in this project was an overall site design concept as well as the design and layouts of the retail and apartment block, seen below at left.  Doug also completed several hand sketched 3D views to give a feel for some of the spaces in the project.

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Floor Plan



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FIRST FLOOR PLAN (Bakery & Furniture Store)

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Parklet Outside Apartment

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Bakery Interior

View of Stairs Along Central Avenue


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